Dennis Joseph recalls how he overcame alcohol addiction that had ruined his career

Veteran screen writer Dennis Joseph who bid adieu to the world yesterday had once opened up, in an interview, about how he dealt with alcoholic addiction when he was at the height of his career. He had described those days as the most depressing period in his life.

“If you ask me what is the most dangerous addiction in this world, then I would say it is drinking alone. I had spent a part of my life like that. I would consume alcohol and smoke to my heart’s content privately, creating a world of my own. Slowly, I became an addict. I used to smoke up to 100 – 120 cigarettes a day. I couldn’t begin my day without having a peg or two as soon as I woke up. I had completely become an addict to alcohol and smoking. But, I never created any ruckus at my home or at shooting sets after drinking,” recalled Dennis.

Dennis Joseph and Joshiy on the sets of New Delhi movie. Also seen are actors Urvashi and Suresh Gopi

Soon, Dennis realized that he was losing control over his own life. He tried many ways to escape from his addiction. However, he was disappointed as nothing worked. Slowly, his addiction began taking a toll on his health too. “Even though I had tried to give up drinking, I couldn’t. Offers stopped coming my way and I faced financial problems. In order to make a comeback into the movies, I sat down to write again. However, those were the days when I realized that I had become a severe addict to alcohol. I forgot words when I sat down to write. I noticed that I couldn’t remember the Malayalam alphabet ‘Sa’. I would become normal for a while after having a peg. Slowly, everyone began realizing my problems,” said the screenwriter.

Dennis confessed in the interview that he had even contemplated ending his life. However, he didn’t have the courage to take his own life. “It was my friend Kora Jacob who helped me overcome this darkest phase of my life. It was he who freed me from the deadly clutches of alcohol and cigarettes. I haven’t touched alcohol or cigarettes for the last nineteen years. I am grateful to Kora sir for giving me back my life that had once been lost,” said Dennis. 

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